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Trotz (kinda) downplays doubts about working with Ovechkin

Aug 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

Washington Capitals Introduce General Manager Brian MacLellan And Coach Barry Trotz Getty Images

Many believe that the Washington Capitals’ success with Barry Trotz may hinge on how the defensive-minded head coach gets along with Alex Ovechkin, but Trotz downplayed that situation with the Tennessean on Friday.

Well, sort of:

“I think people make too much out of it,” Trotz said. “I do know how I operate will be different from previous staffs. Until we go into the season and start playing real games, our relationship will be fine.”

Trotz seemed to be going strong with those first two sentences, but that last one might raise an eyebrow or two?

“What happens once the real games begin?” is a perfectly reasonable question to ask, although perhaps Trotz merely means that he’s giving the 28-year-old star a clean slate? (That would probably be ideal.)

The former Nashville Predators head coach might cringe at the skepticism regarding his ability to relate to Ovechkin, yet he’s also fed a fire or two with offseason comments, especially noting that the high-scorer has “too much glide in his game.”

Broadly speaking, there are probably two contrasting opinions on this hire:

1) Trotz will give Ovechkin and the Capitals the “tough love” they need.

2) He won’t be able to adapt to a team with a different set of strengths and this will end up being another questionable front office move by the Capitals.

Hey, if nothing else, would-be cautionary tale Alex Radulov recently said some nice things about Trotz

  1. capsnbohs23 - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    “Hey Boss, I need a topic that will get me some easy clicks”….”Just write about Ovechkin”

  2. lowenni - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    I totally agree that his relationship with Ovechkin will be fine. If a guy like Radulov has come out and said that Trotz is a great man and coach who taught him a lot, then I’m not concerned about Ovechkin’s relationship with him. Defensive effort aside, as a Caps fan who’s been watching Ovi his whole career I will say he is a respectful guy and he does respect his coaches, sometimes loves them (Oates). People are really sleeping on the Caps this year…we’ve made the playoffs with worse teams. For years our biggest questions have been “who is the second line center?” or “can they shore up the defense this season?”…now we’ve got Niskanen, Orpik, Kuznetsov, and maybe Burakovsky on board and the biggest question is “Will Ovi like Trotz?????” If that’s our biggest question, then I’m not sure why everybody is counting us out of the talks of winning our division. Past history aside, we’ve arguably got the best coach we’ve ever had. I’m excited for this season a lot, but I’m also okay if everyone keeps sleepin on us…

    • jpelle82 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      radulov said that after the fact in hindsight…when he was under his tutelage he never changed his attitude or behavior to truly respect trotz. actions speak louder than words, hopefully ovechkin sees and hears what radulov did but has the character and balls to make the necessary changes so that he too isnt saying crap from russia after the fact.

  3. blomfeld - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM


    That was the opinion of my old friend Stransky (physicist and expert in forensic causation analysis) when I spoke to him yesterday about these latest remarks from coach Barry Trotz. As he see’s it, things are now ‘definitely going to happen’ there in DC, to the point in fact where by Christmas time the situation will have deteriorated into a virtual ‘civil war’ between Trotz and Ovechkin. And though that may sound a bit grim for Capital’s fans, my friend Stransky firmly believes that Trotz will ultimately prevail in the coming clash, and that ‘good times’ will then finally return to the good folk in Washington ! :)

    • capsnbohs23 - Aug 30, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      • bmoreredfury311 - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        I wish I could give this 1000 thumbs up.
        I’m so tried of this non-story. The media loves to beat a dead horse. Can’t wait until Oct 9th, so they can be judge by what they do on the ice, instead of this crap.

      • blomfeld - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:52 PM

        that’s a great post friend … well done ! :)

  4. jpelle82 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    so he’s saying fireworks are inevitable. reads in the affirmative to me. i guess he’s seen enough and gotten to know enough of ovechkin to know that by now. now its just wait and see how bad it gets, maybe ovechkin will surprise us all…hopefully for caps fans he does. otherwise, the caps seem to have a bright future with kuznetsov, burakovsky and i’m sure with some of the future high draft picks that are on the horizon as well….ahem. maybe this is ovechkin’s last chance before ownership finally realizes that the coach hasnt been the whole problem all along. if its bad – trade him, this can only go on for so much longer.

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